Chronic back pain, have to pop/crack dozens of times a day

crackitccrackit Posts: 18
edited 07/16/2019 - 12:22 PM in Chronic Pain

Hi, first post here. 

My back,  especially upper back is always tight and sore, and I need to constantly twist, stretch, etc to pop and crack parts of it at all different angles. It has gotten worse and it's the only way of relieving the pain. I wanted to ask if anyone on the other thread has had any developments, but since that's closed, does anyone else have any advice or ideas? 

It can't be normal to have to crack my back dozens and dozens of times every day. I have similar issues with my neck,  groin, and the very top part of my glute/hamstring - all provide some relief to my back pain. I'll often hold my hands behind my back, lean back and stretch them out, squeezing my shoulder blades together, sometimes it has to be very hard, but I'll usually get a solid crunch in the whole upper back area and the whole area feels loose and less pain. 

I also often feel like the side parts of some vertebrae almost stick together, so to loosen that up and provide pain relief I'll stretch it out by shifting one side of my hip/butt down and across while doing the opposite motion with my shoulder. I can hear and feel it go crunch, then it's loose and the pain is relieved. 

Physios have always just told me its nothing to worry about but to try not to crack it, which is unrealistic as its the only way to relieve my back pain. 

Any suggestions, advice, similar experiences etc. would be great to hear about! 

P. S.  I'm hypermobile.




  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 2,087
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM

    hi crackit

    Welcome to Veritas Health Forum

    i personally haven't had to perform cracking but i can understand why physios have said to try not to crack it.  have you ever had any diagnostic images taken to see what the problem is? 


  • crackitccrackit Posts: 18
    edited 07/16/2019 - 12:22 PM


    In the past I've had X-ray's, CT scans, mri. They've revealed building and degenerative discs. I've been told I don't have arthritis, but could potentially have seronegative arthritis.

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  • Hi, I just wanted to ask if by now you have been cured from this horrible back pain. 

    I have tried searching online hundreds of times for my symptoms and this forum thread is the only website that pops up that describes my condition and symptons, especially your post. I wish there were posts about people that have found a solution or diagnosis so that everyone can benefit. I hope you have been cured and if you have please let us know! 

    thanks :)

  • Hi Kayla,

    I have since followed this up with physiotherapists, massage therapists, personal trainer, my GP, and a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist has supposedly ruled out spondyloarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Frustrating because I was certain I had one of these. I had an X-ray on my lower back pelvic area and an mri or my thoracic spine. Dr can't explain it other than bad hypermobility. I'm seeing an osteopath, a new physiotherapist an exercise physiologist, going to try yoga and if all else fails, a chiropractor. 

    Wish I could find out what is wrong with me!

  • Hello,

    What is the latest news on your condition?

    I have a similar issue and am losing hope. It's been about a year since I started working in an office where my thoracic region right between the shoulder blades feels constantly stuck, like all the joints between my shoulder blades are jammed together. I, too, can only get momentary relief by cracking multiple times a day. It's so bad that I even need to -- and can get -- little pops by hunching my shoulders or pulling in my sternum. Is this what you are experiencing? 

    Nothing really works. I got a standing desk and a new bed. The chiropractor, Physical therapist, and massage have only provided temporary alleviation of my symptoms to the point where I have fewer bad days, but if I stop going to any of these I eventually start having pain every day again. Currently I am taking a muscle relaxant which seems to help only a little bit. My pain is worse in the morning and at the end of the day. The best relief can only be done at home which is rolling over a foam roller to get a massive pop in the problem area. However, this is only temporary and if i attempt it too soon after my last crack it just hurts. 

    Sorry for rambling a little bit I just don't know where else to turn. 


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  • Hi 

    I too have the same problem. I feel the constant need to crack my back a thousand times a day and I am getting so frustrated. 

    I have had this problem for many years and don’t know what to do. 

    I sometimes even bring my shoulders forward just to also get a pop, find myself leaning back on whatever I can find for a crack. If I don’t, it’s unbearable and is the only way I can relieve myself of the pain. 

    I haven’t done anything about it, as I just assumed it will go away eventually but it hasn’t. 

    I would go to the gp but want to lose weight before I do so because I think it could be that, (all my weight goes to my stomach and drags it down, could that be why, I don’t know.. ) 

    But it’s been unbearable 

  • Hi all, just an update, 

    Kenton, what you described Is exactly the same as what I experience.

    Over the last few months I've tried Osteopath, which provided temporary relief, but even straight after her manipulations, I still had the tightening, locking sensations and cracked myself to relieve. Interestingly, she noticed I have scoliosis, and the side that my spine locks up is the one that bends in/shorter. After her manipulations, the curve was less, indicating muscular issue. I gave up seeing her after a few appointments.

    Went to a new physiotherapist, and he did dry needling, which helped temporarily.

    I've been seeing an exercise physiologist, and it's been great. Focus on strengthening supportive muscles. Both the physio and exercise physiologist believe what is happening with me is due to the wrong muscles being activated and overworked. This causes muscle fatigue, spasms, tightening. They still can't explain the cracking, other than its maybe due to tendons/ligaments etc sliding around. 

    Wish I had something more conclusive. My exercise physiologist thinks the issue will get better over time with proper exercise treatment, so I have to be patient and put in the work. 

    Does anyone else have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome?

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 261

    Prior to multiple fusions I had a lot of spine noise that I used to refer to as pouring milk on rice crispies. I even used to ask my kids, when they were small, to walk on my back and make it crack to feel better. Since my multiple fusions I've learned that cracking and popping is often made by bone on bone in your spine and not to do that as it may aggravate the underlying issue - don't know if that applies to everyone but the point was made to me by the spine docs and professionals. Did a NS or OS read your MRIs or only look at the reports? My OS doesn't look at the reports but goes to the images as he feels he is more proficient and I have to say he seems to always be right with his diagnoses.

  • crackitccrackit Posts: 18
    edited 10/16/2018 - 9:51 PM

    My Rheumotologist looked at the X-ray and mri. 

    Just yesterday I went to a spine clinic and saw a doctor who is doing more investigating. Getting a nuclear bone scan. He thinks it could possibly  be DISH syndrome. He too looked at the scans.

  • FYI went back to doc today for results from my nuclear medicine bone scan. It showed some normal wear and tear but nothing major. 
    Once again, I'm left back at square 1: my joint hypermobility syndrome is causing the issue throughout my body, and although my joints seem OK, it is likely wearing out the ligaments. Doc has advised to stop cracking to prevent from getting worse, and to try pain management/psychology and maybe a spine physio. Glad it's nothing serious, but it is serious to me, and I'm feeling frustrated about not being able to clearly find a fix. 
    Hopefully the mods don't ever lock this thread. Perhaps one day someone will stumble upon this and offer some insight.
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